The results for Sissy's speech evaluation have come in. It's worse than I expected, but explains a lot. Remember, this isn't a test of how well she speaks English, but her over all language level. I was already told by two Chinese language professionals that her Mandarin was at the level of a 6-8 yr. old. Her English is at the same level because of how her brain is processing language, not because it's a new language. She'll be 17 years old in one month.
Things to remember when looking at these results:
1. Her vocabulary in English far exceeds her vocabulary in Mandarin and Cantonese.
2. Her grammar in either Chinese dialect is well below normal, as is her ability to read and comprehend in her native language.
3. She's had 3 years of intense attention and multiple approaches to learning English.
4. Despite Blossom's intellectual deficiency, Blossom's English has always surpassed Sissy's and Jie Jie's.
The reason I am sharing these results is two-fold. First, it's an excellent example of how long it can take to diagnose a language disorder in an older adopted child and of how the child's profile information can be so wrong prior to adoption. Second, I'd love to hear from parents who have had a child at this age in this situation. Did your child catch up? Did your child have an intellectual disability, too? How did you deal with this?
Why do I ask how you deal with this? Because my child rarely understands what I'm saying to her, but fakes it so it's nearly impossible to know for sure what she understands or not. She THINKS she's understanding, but she's subconsciously taught herself to memorize what those around her say and then parrots that. Once you give her a question requiring her own opinion, she's completely speechless and lost. For example, "What do you plan to do when you grow up?" She'll say, "I can't work, I don't have any skills," which is something we've talked a lot about. Then I'll say, "Then what are you going to do?" She'll say, "Obey mommy." I'll ask her why and she'll start repeating things I've told her, "Because you love me and I need to learn and choose the right." Then I'll say, "Well, you've been making some very bad choices lately. What is your plan for making good choices?" Then she stops and can't figure out what to say next. I've learned to stop feeding her information she can parrot so I can see where her thinking and speaking ability ends.
Tests Administered: Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals 4.
Recalling Sentences: Raw Score: 26; Scaled Score: 1; Test-age Equivalent:
4 yrs 9 months.
Formulated Sentences: Raw Score: 22; Scaled Score: 1; Test-age Equivalent:
Word Class-Total: Raw Score: 14; Scaled Score: 7; Test-age Equivalent: 8
yrs 9 months.
Word Definitions: Raw Score: 1; Scaled Score: 1; Test-age Equivalent: <9 yrs.
Sum of Subtest Scaled Scores: 10
Standard Score: 52
Percentile Rank: 0.1
Comments: Developmental Language Delay.